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Compaq launches smart card keyboard

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Compaq has launched a "smart card" keyboard for its Presario desktop PC range.

The Smart Credit Card Internet Keyboard is optional on Compaq's Presario 5000 and 7000 series PCs.

It looks similar to the regular Presario keyboards, but has a slot on the right hand side where smart cards can be inserted and read.

The cards, which store the credit card and personal details of the user, aim to make shopping on the Net safer as they provide an alternative to punching credit card numbers into Websites. The keyboard will also offer online coupons and discounts.

The accessory can only be bought with one of the new desktops. It adds around $34 to the price of the system if bought online from Compaq, according to a company representative today at PC Expo, part of TechX in New York.

Although many Websites have yet to become smart card enabled, Compaq reckons the keyboard will help prepare e-shoppers for the future mainstream use of smart cards on the Internet.

Financial services firm Fleet Credit Card Services and VISA are also involved with the smart card keyboard, which started shipping today. ®

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